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Chapter 9

――I'm out of money!

(This is very important so let me say it again…)

――I HAVE NO MONEY!

Huh? Just how poor am I?

Well, now…… .

I am at the level where I can be called "dirt" poor .

If it were to empty my wallet, all that's there would be stamp cards for several stores I don’t even remember, and only 156 selen in coins .

… . Just how did I become this poor?

In regards to that, the reasons behind this are large and complicated and are as numerous as the stars in the night sky . But, I can basically summarize it into two reasons .

――The first reason .

So, It seems that I did understood and at the same time didn’t understand the proper cost it takes to maintain a single person's well being . If I say this then you might be thinking {your guess was completely off right?}, but you're wrong .

The natural world has betrayed me, that's all .

But isn’t that the case . The reason why all of this happened is because human beings can't handle the cold of winter .

Because of this, I was compelled to pay for winter clothes for Shalltear who just became my disciple . I was also compelled to to prepare food of a slightly higher quality than normal .

I can't believe this . Just what is the purpose of winter? Also, why are human bodies' hair so thin even though they understand that it’s cold outside?

At the northern borders of the kingdom is the Macle mountain range I've heard there is a self-ruling group of beastmen and birdmen living there . I believe we, humans, can learn a lot from them . It seems that they are able to become very fluffy or super puffy at will . What the hell is that? ――There are some humans who even lose the little hair they should have on their heads!!

(TL Note: Ok so the above sentence is kind of dumb, instead of saying they grow hair he says "気合で微フサになったり超モフになったり" . And since he is using cute sounding onomatopoeia I didn’t want to change the meaning of what he said . Granite is just mad that he had to blow money on buying clothes . )

Haah…

――Now for the second reason .

…In order to register Shalltear as my disciple I had to pay a fee . {It's your own fault for not doing your research beforehand . } is what I was told? No, that's wrong . I just didn’t even imagine I would have to pay!

If the previous reason was the natural word betraying me then this time it's human society oppressing me .

I can't believe this . In order to pass on my techniques for the sake of this country's future, that is why I took a disciple . Despite this why is it that money is being taken away from me . I don't give a damn what the country's reasons are! If anything they should be giving me funds!

I'm sure someone else must have felt this way . Is tormenting the general populace really that much fun!

………

――Well, in any case these are the two reasons that I couldn’t do anything about .

Ahhh… . Regardless, 156 selen…

At this rate, those brats that shine shoes around here would scoff at me… Even if it's me, the amount of money in my pocket now is too pathetic . At this rate, I would only be able to buy 1 and a half Wild Pigeon legs . As crappy as that meat is… .

…… . If I complain and haggle about the meat… . Could I get 2 legs…?

But that's only one meals worth… . and until I finish that I won't have to work, right? Hmmm? Then I should eat that for dinner…so for today at least I won't have to work, right? I can just… . start working from tomorrow, right?

I placed my hand to my chin and seriously considered this plan .

… . No no no wait . Just wait a moment Granite Range .

To complain and haggle isn't something a man of my caliber who went to the trouble of making a child from the slums my disciple should do . Damn . if I only had 1 more 100 selen coin, I could put off working until tomorrow . Then, I wouldn't have to worry right now . …I wonder if there is a stray coin lying around here somewhere .

As I thought this, I leaned forward in my chair all the while knowing that this was useless, and tried recounting the coins that were lined up on the table .

1 coin, 2 coins, 3 coins, 4 coins… .

I moved each coin carefully with my finger and checked to make sure there weren't any extra coins hidden underneath the other coins . Nothing… Just as I thought there aren't any . It was exactly 156 selen . It seems there is no mistake that this is all I have to my name at this moment .

Ahh, after doing something as futile as this, I'm slowly starting to feel pissed off at something I would normally not care about .

You know, like the dull light that shines of these damned coins It's almost as if the coins are making fun of me .

Yeah, for example it almost like… .

{Heeey, brother…! As I look at the shine of your soul I sense a feeling of camaraderie! Hey now, don't make such a scary face . Let's get along! Both us and you, are friends at the bottom of the barrel . Oh, that's wrong of me . We can be used, but no one is going to use you . Gahahahaha! }

…It's like they’re saying that to me…

Damn, I’m really starting to get pissed off .

Dammit, maybe I should just melt the coins down . Since 156 selen isn't even a round number, isn’t it just causing me to worry? On the contrary if I was completely broke, wouldn't I feel better?

No, I shouldn't . Calm down…calm down . I could be executed .

In this kingdom, anything that deals with forgery of money, especially when it comes to the "selen coins" distribute by the kingdom, is followed by a punishment that is somewhat severe . Even though the forgery of selen coins is well-known to be impossible, thinking about this is bad for my nerves .

After thinking about what would happen if anyone found out, there is no way I could do something that dangerous because of a short-term impulse .

……I just keep thinking about useless nonsense…

Maybe because I have been financially backed against a corner, I'm starting to go crazy . Vexing, this is truly vexing . I feel the corners of my eyes starting to burn… There is no saving this world… Is there no god…?

I lean back in my chair and my body went limp .

After I let out a sigh, I stop staring at the coins lined on my desk and I look around the room in a daze .

The alchemy pot in the middle of my workshop is already lit, so it's nice and warm . Thank god for that . Also another stroke of luck, since I have all of those skulls, animal bones, if I extract magic from them I can easily maintain the heat of the alchemy pot . Furthermore if I extract bone oil, then even if I use up all the magic from the bones; I can still use the bone oil to warm up to some extent . With this I won't be shivering from the cold for 1 to 2 months . This is all much cheaper than using firewood .

…… . Then I thought .

Why did I prepare all of these bones? It's not as if the alchemy staff (which was fake) really needed all of these bones . Am I an idiot? Even if it only costed me some loose change, with that money I could have put off working…

I shouldn’t be thinking this way .

I shake my head to reset myself . So as I changed my mood, I finally turned my attention to direction where I had been hearing a noise for a while now . (You can also say, I was so overwhelmed it took this long for me to finally focus on the something else . )

The person who was making that noise, running up and down my workshop/atelier, is none other than the girl I named Shalltear who became my disciple . She was officially recognized as my disciple as of yesterday, at the cost of a small amount of money .

I have no idea why she is so worked up, but she is cleaning the floor even though she wasn't asked to . She rolled up the sleeves of her clothes and she goes from one side of the room to another pushing a rag and cleaning the floor . Since she was moving around and working she didn’t seem restless . Her cheeks were red and a bead of sweat ran down her forehead causing her bangs to stick to her face, (TL Note: OK so in japan it is customary for you to clean a room by pushing a rag with your hands while your bent over from one side of the room to the other . This is how they clean the inside of temples or dojo . And in schools kids are taught to clean their own classrooms this way . I’ve done it before and it kills your back . )

She is a worker . Even though she tried to kill herself not too long ago, she seems to be in good spirits .

She realized that I was looking at her while she worked . Shalltear then stopped working and stood up . She then turned toward my direction and smiled . The sleeves she had rolled up immediately fell down .

[Pap… . . Master! Did you figure out, what was troubling you? ] Shar

[Ah…uhm . I am finished… . ] Granite

[I see . ] Shar

She was looking at me with sincere eyes that said, I'm sure he was thinking on something meaningful . As her pure innocent eyes pierced my body, I started to groan as I used my hands to shield my eyes .

Aghh my eyes, MY EYES~! They're BURNING!!! The darkness in my heart, is being forcefully exposed to such pure light~! NOOO! I'm being purified!! I, WON'T, LOSE,…AGH!

[M,Master! What's wrong?] Shar

I can hear Shalltear call out in a worried voice like before as she races toward me .

What am I supposed to do? As I thought this, I weakly stuck out my head and gestured toward Shalltear .

[I'm f, fine . There is nothing… . to worry about . ] Granite

[Are you sure? Are you really really sure?] Shalltear

But it seemed I was a bit too slow, I could hear Shalletear's voice a lot closer to me than I expected . I opened up one eye as if I was looking at something terrifying… .

There were the plain clothes of a town girl, the shirt was a bit too long .

But this young girl while only wearing such commonplace clothing, seemed to have this weird fleeting atmosphere of a fairy . No matter how much her complexion has improved, she was originally very skinny and underweight . There might be another reason for this feeling I have now that I think about it… … . I was already enchanted with the young girl in front of me, I began to examine the girl in front of me .

She is just too beautiful . I am not talking about her looks, but her personality . If I were to give an example, she is like a pure white canvas that hasn't had anything painted on it yet . And this is… . really strange . In this day and age, even if its a child that's not even 10 years old, you would expect for them to pick up something from the environment around them . Especially since the girl that is in front of me grew up in the slums .

It's feels like she almost doesn’t exist . When you put materials in the alchemy pot the materials are in the middle of transforming as you are creating something, this is what she reminds me of . A lump of unidentified ambiguous mass . An existence where if you interfere with it haphazardly or let it out of your sight for a second, it might disappear . She might either disappear from in front of me or disappear all together, regardless I would be troubled since I’ve already invested in her already .

But, she seems better than the day before yesterday… Well, leaving such an unstable existence in such an unstable state, is not good for my mental health .

But even though I thought this, I don't want to be bothered with this . But, once i confirmed the small light in the eyes of the girl who is looking at me with an upturned gaze…

… . I have no choice, I decided to compromise .

[Here now . ] Granite

[Huh!? Ahh… . ] Shalltear

Ahh…I didn't intend to "give" her anything more than what's necessary… What a pain… . Well, I am used to compromising…

I patted the head of Shalltear who was in front of me .

[As you can see . It seems that you did some cleaning . Thank you . ] Granite

[No…Um, yes… Unnn…] Shalltear

It seems that Shalltear can't come to terms with what’s happening now . Her eyes were opened wide, her shoulders were shrugged, and she was shaking . I can sense something strange with her .

[Haha, why are you huddling like that? You should be more confident . Also there is no reason to worry about me . Because I am a first rate magician, and a great and excellent alchemist . Also I am you master, do you understand?] Granite

As I said this, in order to lift up her spirits I put a little extra strength into rubbing her head . As I did this, Shalltear finally was able to come back to her senses and raised her voice to respond .

[Y, Yes . ] Shalltear

[Good . That’s the way . ] Granite

[Hehehe…] Shalltear

[…hmm…] Granite

Shalltear showed a bashful smile . Yeah, if I had a pet it would probably feel like this .

…To be honest, because I thought she was cute I feel like she got one over on me .

――And she seemed to be enjoying herself so much, I lost the timing to stop patting her head . I continued this for about a minute .

[[Gururu…]]

――At the same time both of our stomachs growled, snapping us back to reality .

§

After awhile I bought some steamed potatoes . So all the money I have left was 31 selen .

Damn .

Damn .

Side note: {Beastman Race}

Actually, beastman and humans (which are actually called the pure human race) are the same on a genetic level (at the time of this story its unknown) . With their special Hyle spirit vein, they could transform at any time, which makes them look like a different race at first glance . So mating between the races is possible… but only if there are no moral or cultural problems .




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